Getting Your Home Ready to Sell – Design Tweaks

Dawn Griffin Posted by
New Listings May 2020

I recently did a chat with David Nelson, who I frequently refer to as “The Secret Sauce of Circa”. I recommend all my clients do everything he tells you to do because those who do, usually sell on the first weekend for above asking. In our conversation we go over tips and tweaks to get your home ready for market.

David: I’m the brand manager at Circle Properties.I’ve been with the company for 11 years. My job has kind of morphed over the course of the years. Generally speaking, I interface with our selling clients and provide direction with them through the selling process from a visual and marketing perspective.

Dawn:  What do you think your most common pieces of advice are?

David: I think decluttering.  Everyone knows they have to declutter. I tell people when I’m coming to visit or doing this online, not to declutter before I get there because oftentimes I want to shop their stuff. So if they have over decluttering prior to my visit, I don’t know what they have to work with. It’s attention to the merchandising and the visual merchandising. Oftentimes we’ll walk through the house I’ll ask, “Do you understand the concept I’m trying to explain?” and if they don’t, I’ll show a couple of examples. I’ll take them into their closet and talk about closet preparation, which I think is super important. Even though we don’t photograph closets, generally speaking, I tell them the closets will talk about them when we’re not there and our goal is to send the message that these sellers take such good care of their clothes, and things in their closet that you can only imagine that all the other systems and things in the home are taken taken care of just as well.

Obviously, paint colors are important. I think it’s important to present your house in a current color story. I think that people are educated enough to know that some colors currently aren’t in and others are. So I think that if you have a listing competing with four other houses in the neighborhood, and you have colors from 1980s and the rest of the houses are up to speed with current colors from the 2020s or 10s for that matter, I think telling that story and getting that buyer can be a little more challenging.

I think probably my other one that I’m really kind of passionate about his exterior presentation. I think landscaping – you know, we all know that curb appeal is super important it is, but it’s the backyard, it’s the front of the house, it’s “What does it say about the person that owns this house?” Is it very buttoned up? Ddoes it tell the story that this person is very detail-oriented with their landscaping? That tells that story that that’s how they care for and have taken care of the house that you want to buy.

Dawn: What is your take on family photos and highly decorated children’s rooms?

David: I’ve had maybe three instances in my career where family photos were overdone. I think that general people display them tastefully. You know you’re in a house.  It’s a place where people live and it would be silly to think that the home does not have pictures of family. I think the kid’s rooms are pretty awesome and I think that it’s very seldom that I will have someone cull down. I’ll have them declutter because it’s always a cluttering issue, but usually kids decorating is amazing – the tents, the basket and the things hanging from the ceiling with toys, and the desks and the decals. I think kids rooms, you know in this day and age, the little ones rooms are always the cutest.

Usually the worst bedroom in the house is the master bedroom. That’s the last place parents spend money – on themselves in their master, so I have to really encourage them to go out and spend the money to elevate the master bedroom.

Dawn: I’m laughing because that is so true here, I’m thinking about my master bedroom. It’s sad and pathetic.

Dawn: Very, not often, but occasionally someone will tell me, “Well, I just don’t think my house is a Circa house.” Like they see the pictures, the finished product, pictures online of the houses that we’re selling, and they look at their house and they’re like, “Well, I just I don’t think my house is a Circa house.” So how would you respond to that objection?

Daivd:  I think every house is a Circa house. I think it really is about the effort. It’s about the participation by the client in doing the work. I go into a lot of scary houses, and I’m always amazed when I go back how amazing they turn out.


If you are thinking of selling your home and would like some tips to get it ready for market, we can do virtual pre-list appointments. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with David and Dawn.

St. Louis Real Estate Blog

New Listings, Market Trends, and Happenings from the Dawn Griffin Group.

View All Blog Posts Meet the Team

Dawn Griffin Group